How to independently study and how parents can support their children during lockdown

If anyone had told you that you would be in lockdown at home in 2020, you would’ve called their bluff. 

However, with the impact of the Covid-19 virus on South Africa, this is a harsh reality and millions of learners are indeed sitting at their dining room table or desks trying to keep up with the school curriculum.

South Africa’s leading study guide publisher, The Answer Series, a trusted resource for learners since 1975, has now made it easier for learners studying alone to reach their full potential during lockdown with a 50% discount on all e-books during this time.

 George Eadie, CEO of The Answer Series, says: “It can be difficult studying on your own without a teacher to guide you through tricky subject matter.

We have always believed that learners should have access to study guides and now more than ever, this is critical.

We have therefore decided to cut the cost of our e-books making the material even more accessible under the current lockdown.”

The e-books are already free to teachers in South Africa. For learners, the new discounted prices for the e-books range between R29 and R49 per book during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

“For those who prefer to study with a hardcopy version of our guides, the books can be bought online now at approximately R199.00 per book, for delivery after the current lockdown comes to an end.”

To further assist learners and parents during this time, The Answer Series has compiled a list of tips to ensure structured and productive studying despite the current difficulties.

The Answer Series tips for learners:

  1. Take control of your own learning process. Although you may be in touch with your teachers in some way, much of what you do as far as your schoolwork is concerned, will depend on you whilst this lockdown lasts.
  2. Identify a quiet working place without distractions. The study area that you choose should allow you to focus and have all your study materials close by. There should be no interruption from family or house members and ensure it has good lighting.
  3. Decide on a daily routine and draw up a schedule. A daily routine will give structure to your day. As you will not be going to school for the foreseeable future. Allocate as much time as you think you will need to each of your subjects.
  4. Identify what learning material from each subject needs to be covered. Systematically work through each topic of each subject. Decide what you already know; what you need to revise; what you don’t understand and what new work you need to learn independently.
  5. Establish what you can access from home. Take time to do independent research in order to find out what is available on the internet. Make sure that the resources you use are always reliable and avoid generalised searching. Use Google Classroom, Snapplify and reputable on-line videos. Remember that all The Answer Series guides are Available as e-books.

6. Revise work from the start of this year and/or previous grades. Go through every section of your work and determine whether there are sections or concepts you don’t grasp. Work through these again and again until you have mastered the content (also see tip 7).

7. Get help from teachers and fellow learners when you are stuck. If you are battling with a concept or section of work even after you have revised it, approach your teacher or a classmate on-line to help you.

8. Use past exam papers and tests to practice. Working out past exam papers and tests enables you to find out what you already know or not at all. The Answer Series guides also feature tests and tasks to make sure you understand the information you’re working through.

9. Don’t lose motivation. Hang in there. Many others all over the world are in the same position now. You are acquiring new skills and conquering independent learning.

10. Drink enough water and take a break. Staying hydrated improves concentration.  Taking breaks, though not too frequently, energises you.

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The Answer Series tips for parents:

  1. Be there or be square. This is an uncertain period for you and for your child. Let them know that you are there for them. Being there for them emotionally will make a big difference to their mental wellbeing. This will also ensure that they can use their emotional energy to focus on their schoolwork.
  2. Create order. Organise every room in your home so that it can be used optimally while lockdown lasts. It is essential for each child to have an individual working space where they will not be distracted.
  3. Maintain a balanced routine. Routines may differ from family member to family member. Set up a designated time for learning but allow for some flexibility.
  4. Help your child to establish what they can access from home. Help your child to do independent research as to what is available in the form of books (apart from textbooks), resources and websites on the internet. The Answer Series guides are a trusted resource.
  5. Monitor your child’s learning progress. Depending upon the age and maturity of your child he/she will either need less space and more involvement, or more space and less involvement. Make sure that you know how much work needs to be covered by your child.
  6. Set up a reward system. An occasional reward will ensure that your child remains motivated. Perhaps it’s an outing after lockdown or even exemption from a chore.
  7. Allow for leisure. All work and no play leads to boredom. Boredom leads to no motivation. No focus. Allow time for chilling in the sun, social media or a board game (also see Tip 3).
  8. Listen to your child. This is a time of uncertainty for all of us. Answer their questions truthfully. If you don’t know, say so. Allow them to share their feelings and fears.
  9. Don’t nag.  During lockdown tempers are more likely to fray, so a gentle nudge should do the trick.
  10. Look after nutrition, exercise and sleep. It’s important for everyone in the family to maintain a balanced diet, get some exercise without leaving the property and keep to a consistent routine (also see Tip 3).

All articles written by a STAFF WRITER have been checked and verified to the best of our abilities. Should you have any queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to email them to info@after12mag.co.za

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